AccuWeather.com meteorologists are warning that
oceanic conditions similar to those that triggered the ruinous "Dust Bowl" drought again appear to be in place. The exceptionally warm Atlantic
waters that played a major role in the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season, coupled with cooler-than-normal Pacific waters, are weakening and
changing the course of a low-level jet stream that normally channels moisture into the Great Plains. Effects are starting to be felt in "America's
breadbasket," as the southern Great Plains region is already suffering from higher temperatures and a prolonged lack of precipitation.
Why could a new Dust Bowl drought occur?
The low-level jet stream-a fast-moving current of winds close to the Earth's surface-travels from east to west across the Atlantic, then typically
curves northward as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, bringing moisture to the Great Plains. Abnormal sea-surface temperatures have caused this low-level
jet stream to continue westward and to weaken, which is preventing much-needed moisture from reaching the agriculturally critical region. The shift in
the jet stream is also allowing a southerly flow from Mexico to bring much drier air northward into the Plains.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Latest Seasonal Assessment - A dearth of rain and snow into February promoted intensifying drought across the Southwest from Arizona into west Texas
and Oklahoma, and the odds favor continued drought across the region into May, if not beyond. Although shorter-range forecasts show at least a
temporary change to a wetter pattern during the last half of February in Arizona and New Mexico, significant drought relief is not expected.
U.S. Drought Monitor Link
Drought Grips Midwest
Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas Cope With Driest Season Since 1895
Travis Briscoe's family has ranched in Oklahoma since the Land Run in 1889.
He is the fifth generation to earn a living working the land and, like his grandfather, who survived the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, he is finding out
what it's like to eke out a living during a drought.
"It's the worst I have ever seen. We are well below a foot of rain. … And we don't have any rain in the forecast," Briscoe said.
He scans the horizon every day looking for rain, rain that never comes. This is the driest it's been in the 111 years that records have been
kept.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
NOAA SAYS LA NIÑA HERE AS PREDICTED
Expect Northwest Storminess and More Drought in South/Southwest
"In mid-January the atmosphere over the eastern North Pacific and western U.S. began to exhibit typical La Niña characteristics in response to the
cooling in the tropical central Pacific Ocean," said Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and
NOAA administrator. "This pattern will favor continued drought in parts of the South and Southwest from Arizona to Arkansas and Louisiana, and above
normal precipitation in the Northwest and the Tennessee Valley area." Periodic precipitation in the drought areas and dryness in the stormy areas
also are typical within the larger scale climate pattern described above.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Arizona calls in drought response team
-Feb. 9, 2006
No rain has fallen in Phoenix for a record 114 days and counting, and Flagstaff has received just 1.6 inches of snow this season — 56 inches less
So far, less precipitation has been recorded this year than in 2002, which wound up as the driest year in Arizona's recorded history and one of the
driest in 500 years
, according to paleoclimate records culled from tree-ring studies.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PHOENIX AZ
600 AM MST WED FEB 22 2006
...RECORD DRY SPELL FOR PHOENIX CONTINUES...
THE LAST TIME ANY PRECIPITATION WAS RECORDED AT PHOENIX SKY HARBOR
AIRPORT WAS OCTOBER 18 OF 2005. THROUGH TUESDAY FEBRUARY 21ST...
THAT IS 126 CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITHOUT MEASURABLE RAIN...0.01
INCHES OR MORE...OR EVEN A TRACE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR SKY
HARBOR WAS 101 CONSECUTIVE DAYS WHICH OCCURRED SEPTEMBER 23 1999
THROUGH JANUARY 1 2000.
THERE ARE LOCATIONS IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST WHICH HAVE AN EVEN
GREATER NUMBER OF DAYS WITHOUT EVEN A TRACE OF RAIN. FOR INSTANCE
...IN 1899 THE YUMA WEATHER STATION...WHICH WAS NEAR THE CENTER OF
TOWN...WENT 179 CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITHOUT EVEN A TRACE OF RAIN
BEGINNNING ON FEBRUARY 3. source
The Day After Yesterday: Weeds, Disease, & Insects
With the US Drought Monitor still showing extreme dryness in the Northwestern 1/3 of Illinois, and moderate drought in large parts of Iowa and the
Plains states, the chance for the Cornbelt to be hurt by lack of moisture this year could increase without some relief before planting time. Even Dr.
Elwynn Taylor at Iowa State believes, “The current weather cycles points to considerably higher risk of serious Cornbelt drought this year than the
long-term average.” If the Cornbelt suffers this year from lack of moisture, what will your management plan be for addressing the risk of weeds,
disease, and insects?Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Drought Continues in Southern Plains, May Move Northward
The U.S. National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center hasn't given U.S. wheat farmers in Texas and Oklahoma much hope, according to the U.S.
Wheat Associates Feb. 23 Wheat Letter.
"A dearth of rain and snow into February promoted intensifying drought across the Southwest from Arizona into west Texas and Oklahoma, and the odds
favored continued drought across the region into May, if not beyond," the Center reports.
"In addition, there is a risk that the drought currently affecting the southern Plains could spread northward across Kansas and eastern Colorado and
merge with the drought in Nebraska and Iowa."Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Drought links: www.droughtoutlook.com...
Time to rachet up drought awareness, so stock up your pantries!
The last great drought plunged the US into the Great Depression
. We are already bordering on
a severe recession coupled with high inflation and record deficits. Throw into the drought mix: one La Niña, one severe phase of Atlantic hurricane
activity, rising energy costs, and war...we have have the formula for food prices to blast off like an Apollo moonshot.
This drought is forming up to be the type that literally wiped out the Anasazi natives
. It stands to
reason we should be better informed in order to prepare. Considering the
personal savings rate is the lowest
it has been since 1933
, this indicates that most of us don't have a clue.
So get ready for:
[edit on 26-2-2006 by Regenmacher] extra DIV